NT LIVE REVIEW: Cyrano De Bergerac ★★★★★
Cyrano De Bergerac
The Playhouse Theatre, London
Weds 27th November - Sat 29th February 2020
For those who missed their chance to see the now sold out production of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano De Bergerac, or unable to make their way down to London to catch James McAvoy in the flesh, National Theatre Live were on hand recently to provide yet another unmissable outing for the organisation, with many encore screenings planned, and if this particular trip was anything to go by, I'm sure a certain amount of attendees will likely rebook for another expedition, as Martin Crump's adaption is simply breathtaking and a defining career highlight for McAvoy himself.
Jamie Lloyd has recently become a director at the forefront who I admire profoundly; we hailed his take on Harold Pinter's Betrayal in March last year as 'breathtaking, suspenseful and stunning', as well as his collection at the Pinter Season was an event like no other. Here, Lloyd continues to push the boundaries of what theatre can produce, and along with Crimp has designed a theatre experience like no other, though lyrical speech and battles, on a theatrical take that heightens past Debris Stevenson's 'Poet in Da Corner' and mixes rhythmic passages that allow beatboxer's like Vaneeka D Dadhria to get considerable recognition for her craft and gets the audience up on their feet, from the footage in The Playhouse's auditorium screened live, and in person as cinema goers were nodding their heads and clapping along.
For those who have merely brought tickets to catch a star like McAvoy on stage, and may not have seen much theatre prior to this experience, they would absolutely not be left disheartened; if McAvoy's portrayal of Cyrano this evening screened across the world is anything as pulsating as his run has been so far, he is sure to be lapping up the awards when the season comes about; his adrenaline and emotion throughout is palpable, with constant monologues that leave you unable to breath from a ride of sheer vulnerability seeping through in his performance as he writes love letters in secret to Roxanne (Anita-Joy Uwajeh), a woman who he idolises but is scared of the way he would be perceived by her from his crooked nose that he believes would say any woman away looking in disgust. Uwajeh is also a marvel to witness on stage as she is love-striken towards Christan (Eben Figueiredo), the man who she believes is writing this letters, though her suspicions arise when they are in person; it's a love triangle like no other, and all three performers give off a spark and chemistry that will simply leave a lasting affect and stamp on your mind.
Overall, Cyrano De Bergerac is an overwhelming production full of palpable emotion from all involved, in this eighteen strong cast that has made me wish I had the chance to see it in person, but that's the absolute joy of National Theatre Live, with encore screenings across the world set for this production in the future.
To find the encore screenings of Cyrano De Bergerac near you, head over to https://cyranodebergerac.ntlive.com/tickets/